Champions League 2021-2023

Thursday, July 15, 2021: frequently asked questions (FAQ)


Champions League 9 (2021-2023)

Frequently Asked Questions


1. ABOUT THE ICCF Champions League

1.1 What is the ICCF Champions League?

The ICCF Champions League (ICCF-CL) is a correspondence chess Team Tournament event played in a 2-year cycle season. All registered teams play in several groups as part of the Champions League: A Division, B Division, and C division. At the end of each season, teams will be promoted or relegated as explained by these rules. All games played in ICCF-CL are rated.

1.2 Who oversees the ICCF-CL?

The league falls under the authority of the Non-Title Tournaments Commissioner. An ICCF-CL Support team consisting of tournament directors (TDs) oversees running the daily activities in the league.

1.3 Who can enter the ICCF-CL?

The league is open only to teams of 4 players, who do not necessarily have to come from the same country; mixed teams (mixed nationalities) are possible. All players must be registered on the ICCF webserver. A player cannot play for more than one team in a season (see FAQ 2.2). The responsibility to find or form a team rests with every player.

1.4 What if I have never played in ICCF?

The tournament is available to anyone if they are members of a complete team. New players should first register with ICCF before joining a team. Only National Federations are members of ICCF; players can only be members of a National Federation and not of ICCF. It is not necessary to be a member of a national federation to play in the ICCF-CL unless such membership is required by the player’s federation.

1.5 How are the games in the tournament rated?

Assumed rating for a player without a published rating at the beginning of a tournament: 

If at least 75% of players of an event* are rated, then the average rating of the rated players shall be applied to the players with an unpublished rating. Suppose less than 75% of players of an event* are rated. In that case, the assumed rating shall be 1800 without any exception (unless the player has a FIDE rating, as described immediately below the “clarification”).

* Clarification: In a team competition, the relevant “event” is the single board on which the player is playing, not the complete set of players across the various boards.

FIDE ratings should be treated as unfixed ratings:

Suppose a player new to ICCF has indicated the player’s FIDE rating. In that case, this rating shall be that player’s start rating (and consequently qualifies this player for the proper tournaments, and the rating which is calculated for his opponents).



2.1 Must every team have a name?

Every team must have a name, preferably related to CC or chess in general, and always in good taste. The team’s name might be of any language, including numbers, but no signs – except !$%&=?

2.2 Does every team need a Team Captain?

Each team must choose a Team Captain (TC), who can be a team member. A person can be TC for more than one team. Furthermore, a TC could also play for another team where they are not TC if they do not play in the same division. However, no player is allowed to play for more than one team in a season.

2.3 Who is the owner of the team and the team’s name?

Suppose the main organizer behind a team in the ICCF-CL is a chess club (OTB or CC), a magazine, or an organisation. In that case, this institution owns the team’s name and has the overall power to decide what happens with the team’s name and which players are team members. If there is no institution behind a team, the Team Captain is the owner of the team’s name. This also means the Team Captain is the only responsible person for the line-up of a team, and he may exclude players and invite new players to the team according to these rules.

2.4 I did not have a team in any earlier season - can I nevertheless play?

New teams can enter the CL at the beginning of any new season. For the season 2021- 2023, teams that have not played in the ICCF-CL before will start in the Champions League – C division, as explained by these rules (see all FAQ  3. below). A "new team" is a team:

  • which has not previously competed in CL.
  • In which at least 2 players have not previously played in ICCF-CL ∙ where at least 2 players have not played together with the other 2 players in a previous ICCF-CL team.

2.5 Can the team’s name be changed at any time?

A team is allowed to change its name between seasons. The old and the new name must be given at the time of entering the team.

2.6 Can players be replaced in a team?

A team is allowed to replace players during and between the seasons. The number of replaced players is limited only to; if all the 4 players in a team are changed within two seasons, the team will typically be relegated to a lower division. Exceptions of this rule are possible where the tournament organiser sees a clear need for this.

2.7 Can players transfer from one team to another?

Players can transfer from one team to another only at the beginning of each season. If all 4 players from a team wish to transfer, that team dissolves automatically. A player does not need the approval of the TC whose team they leave, but naturally the acceptance of their new team and TC. If a TC transfers, they must pass the captaincy to a remaining player unless they accept them to continue acting as their TC.



3.1 When can team entries be sent in?

The registration period for Direct Entry runs from NOW until 30/09/2021 Midnight GMT.

Any team wishing to enter through their National Federation can enter from NOW until 30/09/2021 Midnight GMT.

Please note: All registrations (DE and NF) should be sent via the server, not directly to the TO.

Entries are open to active, new teams and inactive teams wishing to re-enter ICCF-CL.

3.2 What is an inactive team?

A team that has not played in an earlier season 2019-2021

3.3 Can inactive teams re-enter the ICCF-CL?

Inactive teams can be reinstated as per the current set of rules. They would compete in Champion's League - Promotional division.

3.4 Our team has played in the ICCF-CL before - do we have to pay the entry fee again?

The team entry fee is per season and therefore must be paid for every new season.

3.5 How much is the entry fee for team entries?

The entry fee is 31.20 Euros per team.

The entry fees are listed in the ICCF financial regulations valid from 01.01.2021. Champions League team entries can only be made through the ICCF Direct Entry system. The Team Captain will be presented with a choice to pay for the team entry in one currency: EUR. As the entry fee is pegged to the Euro, the entry fee will fluctuate based on the exchange rates. Please note that only one payment for the entire team will be accepted. Individual player payments will not be accepted and returned.

If a team is entered through the National Federation, that Federation will decide their entry fee. Please DO NOT send funds to ICCF should the team decide to use this entry method.

3.6 How can I make a team entry through my National Federation?

A team can be entered through the National Federation Delegate.

3.7 What is the method of play for the 2021-2023 season?

The method of play is on the ICCF webserver. E-mail or postal play will not be available in this competition.

3.8 Will there be live replays of any webserver games?

There will be no live replay of ongoing games. The public can see the games only when they are finished, and at least 10 games are finished in the group. The team players and team captain can see the games of their team live with no delay.

3.9 When is the start date of the tournament?

This season is due to start on 01/11/2021.

3.10 What are the Playing Rules for this tournament?

The playing rules in effect are the ICCF Playing Rules for Webserver Team Tournaments. There will be a time control Triple Block (TriBl) system. Duration of Tournament: 700 days (about 2 years); Initial Clock: 50 days; Initial Bank: 50 days; Increment: 5 days) with "guaranteed time" (GT). Conditional moves will also be available to use if players should so wish to use them.

3.11 Who do I talk with about any issues related to CL?

Contact can be made only via your Team Captain. They are responsible for maintaining continuous contact with the ICCF-CL Support Team throughout the season. All inquiries will be followed up promptly. General suggestions should be sent directly to Jörg Kracht.



4.1 What method is used to calculate team performance?

The result of each team will be decided by adding full individual results of all 4 boards. The result of a team match is taken into consideration only if there is a need for tiebreaks, as explained below.

4.2 How are the promotion and relegation rules?

After Tie Breaks Applied

  • A Division - Places 1-7 stay the A Division, places 8-15 are relegated to the B Division.
  • B Division - Places 1-2 per section are promoted to the A division, places 3-7 stay in the B division, and places 8-13 are relegated to the C division.
  • C Division - 24 Teams will qualify for the B division; the exact promotion distribution will be announced once the closing date for Entries is passed. All other teams will remain in the C division.

4.3 What modus is used for tied teams?

If two teams end up with the same total number of points, then ties are split according to the ICCF tournament rules:

  • tie-breaking based on team results (2 added points for a won match, 1 additional point for a drawn match),
  • the results of the tied teams against each other,
  • the better individual result on board 1, followed by board 2, 3, or 4 if necessary.

4.4 What happens in case a place in a higher division becomes vacant due to an unused qualification?

Suppose there is a vacancy at any time in any division (due to an unused qualification, team withdrawal, etc.). In that case, those free places will be made available for tied or best scoring next placed teams from any group of a lower division, according to the following method:

  • Priority to best scoring tied teams (who are not winners).
  • Second priority to best scoring next placed teams.
  • Third priority, based on "match points" achieved by equal teams.
  • Drawing of lots.

Log in

Forgot password

New Player